Kansas City Manager Ned Yost has been a lightning rod for criticism, his infatuation with the sacrifice bunt infuriating many Royals fans, and his ill-fated decision to replace starter James Shields with rookie Yordano Ventura in the sixth inning of Tuesday night’s American League wild-card game getting skewered before and after Oakland’s Brandon Moss tagged Ventura for a three-run homer.
But there is at least one controversial issue that Yost was able to defuse: his long-running feud with Angels Manager Mike Scioscia, who will be in the opposing dugout when the AL division series begins Thursday night in Anaheim.
“Yeah, it’s all water under the bridge,” Scioscia said during Tuesday’s workout, when asked if he had cleared the air with Yost. “I won’t say when, but he approached me about it and apologized.”
The feud goes back to the spring of 2007, when Yost, then the Milwaukee Brewers’ manager, filed a protest with the commissioner’s office after the Angels, for the second straight year, sent a team of minor leaguers to Maryvale, Ariz., for the Cactus League finale while their regulars played that night in Anaheim.
A few weeks later, when snow forced an Angels-Indians series to be moved from Cleveland to Milwaukee, Yost’s Miller Park manager’s office was locked so Scioscia couldn’t use it.
In the spring of 2008, Yost sent a lineup of triple-A players and major league reserves to Tempe, Ariz., to play the Angels. Rules require teams to bring at least four position players who were regulars the previous year or had a “reasonable chance” of being regulars in the current season to spring-training road games.
There was more tension between the two managers at the end of spring training in 2012. After the Royals scored seven runs in the first two innings of an exhibition game, the Angels hit three consecutive homers. Kansas City’s Everett Teaford’s next pitch hit Peter Bourjos, which raised the ire of the Angels.
“I don’t think any of us like that,” Scioscia said at the time. “Our guy was getting knocked around in the first inning, and we didn’t throw at anybody. It was uncalled for.”
Scioscia would not go into detail about his subsequent conversation with Yost, but he did want to clear up one misconception: Yost did not intentionally lock Scioscia out of his Miller Park office.
“It happened so quick,” Scioscia said of the series’ shifting from Cleveland to Milwaukee. “It was the decision of the clubhouse guys. That was not even a part of it [with Yost]. Seriously. There were a lot of things I was mad about. That wasn’t one of them.”